Friday, February 19, 2016

Crap-O-Meter


What is the amount of crappy things you can handle at one time? We had a very healthy discussion at work yesterday about individual tolerance levels. As much as me and my colleagues try and keep work at the office, it is an extremely lean division, in a lean agency, with expectations by the public that we should be even leaner. Despite that, my coworkers are some of the brightest and hardest working people I've ever worked with. Unfortunately, there is a rising tension in conflicting priorities for programs and budgets, and some unsavory issues that have slowly been coming to the surface, now need immediate attention. It felt like a revolving door of crap from office to office. I popped into one office with another thought on a topic and was met with, "No, can't hear any more. My crap-o-meter is red lining." 

E said this with such a straight face, I couldn't help but bust out laughing. Several others joined in the hallway conversation. It seemed many had reached a level of frustration at some situation or another, and were in danger of red lining themselves. We work in a climate that requires complete confidentiality so it is hard to always debrief with someone. We also need to treat certain stakeholders with such kid gloves, it's hard to act as we think we should without ensuring approval from the highest executive.That often moves slow, while the problem starts to build like a snowball. To break the tension for E, we all declared, if no holds were barred, what we would like to do. The ideas went from austere and punitive, to just plain silly. Then, we bounced ideas of each other about what we could do realistically for damage control until a directional decision was made. 

E is dealing with several personal issues; elder care, car troubles, and the winter malaise that isn't going away. Indeed, her crap-o-meter had moved as far right as it could go before snapping. I could see the wear in her face and shoulders. I've felt that weight, and it feels, well, crappy. While today is supposed to be my day off, I need to be in  the office to continue working on the problem at hand. I'm doing pretty good though; my meter isn't even near orange yet.

6 comments:

  1. It's good your tolerance levels are high enough to cope with going into work on your day off Sam but just make sure you look after you as it's easy to get to overload point without realising it. Have a fab weekend.

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    1. Fortunately, I ended up just working from home, though I was up very early doing so. I'll probably login in again about 3:00 or so and make sure nothing new developed, but we have it at a simmer for now.

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  2. I've got one of those meters too... Suddenly all the problems I've been working on at work pile up and everyone needs it all done at once. VERY frustrating. But then we have a staff conference call (everyone works from home) and everyone gets a chance to talk about various issues. Usually someone else has dealt with the same issues on my plate and after those meetings things seem so much lighter. amazing.

    Also at my last place of work, it was a Friday afternoon and almost everyone was talking and laughing out in the hall. One woman was on the phone however and very stressed. She put them on hold and screamed at us all to "WILL YOU PEOPLE SHUT THE HELL UP?!" At least I think she put them on hold... :) So sometimes screaming helps.

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    1. It's great when you have good colleagues to bounce things off. I'd love to work more from home, but I might miss some of the interactions. We do a lot of webinar based training since the state is about 8 hours drive form top to bottom. Often people forget they havne't muted themselves when we take the trainer mute off to open up for questions. It is sometimes interesting what you hear.

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  3. I don't have the crap from employment to deal with, but the last year has seen a whole heap of stuff land on me. Some of it is stuff that can't be shared with anyone else as it's between me and the people who have unburdened themselves. That is very difficult to deal with, particularly when yet another person dumps on me and I want to scream about what I'm already dealing with, but can't go into detail. I have had to put on a happy face of Oscar winning proportions more than once. Add in the new health issues of the last 4 months and it's been tough going!
    Work and uni regularly had my crapometer close to spontaneous combustion!

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    1. Sorry for what you've experienced. You seem like you have such warmth and smarts that others probably expect you'll just solve the issue too. Take care of you first though. I'm not looking forward to starting all the college stuff again in the coming years.

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